This week's articles: 21 December 2012

This week's articles: 21 December 2012


New Year, new hopes - With another year of ups and downs coming to a close, investors seem optimistic that the global economic nadir is behind us.

The Economy in 2013 - The fate of the economy depends upon whether companies increase capital spending. And it's not certain that they will

The outlook for Europe in 2013 - European equity markets - and especially Germany - are being touted as next year's most promising investment.

The US must get its house in order - Political stalemate in Washington has already had a profound effect on economic behaviour, and the path to growth is littered with banana skins.

Emerging opportunities - Emerging markets dropped off investors' radars this year. Now that they're expected to generate three-quarters of global growth next year, investors are getting back in.

Reasons to be bullish - We look at the implications for equity markets in 2013 and finds reason to be cheerful.

A lucky year for small caps - Some investors believe conditions are right for investing in smaller companies and that returns are likely to be strong.

Will the bond bubble burst? - We explain why the bond bubble is unlikely to burst in 2013.

No respite for banks - Just because a eurozone break-up now looks less likely, investors shouldn't assume that all is well in the banking sector.

Does nanny know best? The new regulator wants to protect 'irrational' consumers by removing 'bad' products from sale.

UK property: an age of extremes - The UK's property market has become bifurcated between London and the rest of the country, and how you play it now depends on whether you see this trend reversing towards the mean or continuing to diverge.

RDR: what it means for you - The new year will introduce changes to the way you pay for financial services and investment products.

Pressure on hard commodities - As we noted in our special report on mining in October, problems are mounting in the commodities sector. But should investors be scared off or will demand and prices hold up?

Are oil prices on a slippery slope? - With confidence in the global economy evaporating, and unresolved budget issues dogging both the US and eurozone, should we be expecting a sharp contraction in oil prices through 2013?

We're all invested in China - Don't write off China just yet. We assess how the world's second-biggest economy will fare under the country's new leadership.

2013 from a technical perspective - A technical view of how some major indices and asset classes are likely to perform in 2013.

Twist or stick on natural resources? - We find out how executives of junior resource companies are dealing with the downturn.

Where will the markets end in 2012 - Investors Chronicle brings you a round up of the views on where the FTSE will be at the end of 2013, and looks back at how some of the 2012 predictions fared.

Christmas quiz - Win a case of champagne!


All you need to know about investing in the past seven days: what's rising, what's falling and what's making the headlines.



Bond warning: High prices for government debt have started to affect the behaviour of corporate credit.

Equities hope for 2013: If equities are to rise in 2013, it will be because of receding tail risk more than strong economic growth.

A safer way to invest in high-yielding property: The launch of a property debt fund marks the welcome arrival of a new asset class for private investors in London.

WH Ireland offers reassurance: A positive trading statement helps to repair some of the damage caused by the chief executive's sudden departure.

Goodbye Cookson, hello Vesuvius: After years of waiting, shareholders will find out whether breaking up Cookson unlocks hidden value.

National Grid investors face dividend shock: Tough final proposals from regulator Ofgem will make life difficult for National Grid and analysts think dividend growth will slow.

Iron ore juniors move into bargain territory: Shares of emerging iron ore producers have retreated by an average of 51 per cent this year, leaving several companies looking cheap - but is now the time to buy?

China's Camkids prepares for Aim float: Chinese retailer Camkids is launching onto the Alternative Investment Market offering UK investors a chance to tap into the country's burgeoning consumer goods market.

Leyshon Resources flow test disappoints: Testing of Leyshon Resources' first unconventional gas well in China failed to yield commercial flow rates.



Target doubts: A shift from inflation targeting to money GDP targeting would be great for share prices if it works as its advocates hope - which is unlikely.

Upcoming economics: Forthcoming figures could show a fall in US unemployment, a moderation of the eurozone's recession, but a continued reluctance of UK companies to spend.



Our columnists offer in-depth analysis and investment ideas:

The Editor: The end isn't nigh - A merry Christmas and prosperous new year to all our readers as we say goodbye to another eventful year.

Simon Thompson: Insiders' major buy signal: Our companies editor notes substantial share buying in a small-cap shale oil gas play.

Simon Thompson: Happy capital returns - Some of our companies editor's recommendations have announced bumper capital returns to shareholders.

Chris Dillow: Equities in 2013 - UK share prices might be partly predictable.

No free lunch: Good bye and good luck: Alistair Blair writes his final column for Investors Chronicle and distills his 15 years of investing experience into the lessons learnt and the issues that still make him angry, along with a recommended reading list for all investors.



Financial planning, tax and investment wisdom:

Portfolio - Is this portfolio too weighted to equities?

Should I ignore the £1.25m lifetime pension allowance? - The lifetime pensions allowance has recently been slashed but you might be better off by busting it.

Financial planning - Teach your child the value of saving.

SmartMoney: Quit smoking for a £1m pension.



■ It has a big fan club, in the City and among travellers, but we think this low-cost airline is flying into turbulence which will prompt a share price correction.

■ Sales are falling at this electronics retailer and conditions are growing tougher in its main and non-core markets as hard pressed consumers rein in their spending.

■ Shares in this medical specialist might look in need of treatment, but in fact a healthy share price bounce looks feasible without intervention.

This company's groundbreaking technology has won it some big-name customers. Now it's getting closer to generating income and is also making progress in other target markets.



■ Japan has been cropping up as a favourite pick for next year among analysts and we've found a top-performing Japan fund that focuses on long-term value creation.




Akzo Nobel

Central Asia Metals

Mytrah Energy





IG Group



Fund news: Biotech reaps rewards in 2012.

Shares I Love: Top-performing fund manager Nick Train explains why he likes Heineken and has added it to the portfolio of Finsbury Growth & Income Trust (FGT).

The big theme: Cut the cost of investing in funds.

Top 100 funds review: Finsbury Growth & Income.

ETFs 2012: A big year for ETFs

Interview: Richard Plackett talks about why he won't touch companies linked to government spending, but loves those that concentrate on stand-out products.



The lowdown on the latest company results:




OPG Power Ventures


RWS Holdings

Sports Direct

Sutton Harbour


Stock screen: Five shares that have it all.


Sector focus: Supermarkets in the bargain bin.


Week ahead: A summary of key company announcements expected in the coming week.



Download this week's takeover tables as a PDF.



Trading news: Dollar's Swiss roll - The US dollar is on the verge of a further sharp decline against the safe-haven Swiss franc.

Trading ideas: Chart-driven calls on Barclays, FTSE 250, sterling/euro and wheat.

The Trader: Ongoing bull market: 2013 should be a good year for equities - even though the bull market is now somewhat mature.


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